Looking to get some experience on sand - What are the easiest and least complex tracks in North West Vic?

Hey guys, so I recently purchased a second hand 150 series V6 2009 Prado GXL and I have already taken it to Little Desert and had a bomb around the Vic High Country. My mate who is a big 4WDer helped me choose stuff I will absolutely 100% need (bull bar, rhino pioneer roof rack, air compressor, UHF CB radio, all recovery equipment minus winch - also have been shown how to use them, awning with walls etc) so the car is ready for some beginner touring for sure. Now, when I was in Little Desert last week I found that I couldn't go on the sand tracks there as it was far to deep for my skill level. I want to go to the North west of Vic (think Mallee) because I am really into my photography and I know a lot of the camp sites an be accessed via sealed and unsealed roads - so that will not be a problem. I have one week left of leaver before I have to go back to work (I am in Defence) so I want to go next week to check it out and take some pictures. My housemates (two of them) want to come with me for some camping so I am happy with the company.

I would like some advice on easy to reach campsites in Mallee or Big Desert that can be driven to via some not to deep sandy tracks or at least have such tracks around them so we can have a go at it.


I was thinking of entering the park from the north and taking Underbool Track, Rocket lake track, Mt Crozier Track and Pheeny's track and exiting the park on the south end (in total it is 73.5km) and I wanted to camp about half way. I have made a map on GaiaGps and I can share it if you want to see.

Has anyone done these tracks before, I would appreciate some advice. There are SOME videos on the net of this area, what I have seen is no where near as deep as little desert but there are no videos of the full length of these tracks.

I found this and had a look at some youtube videos of the region but there doesn't seem to be much discussion or videos on the specific tracks on the internet. Just looking for advice is all.
 

Benicio

New Member
I found Murray Sunset National Park to be pretty easy for sand driving compared to Big & Little Desert.
I was up there the week before Christmas & did a few of the tracks on your list & was all straight forward.
Just drop your tyre pressures down to low 20's & you should be fine.
 
I found Murray Sunset National Park to be pretty easy for sand driving compared to Big & Little Desert.
I was up there the week before Christmas & did a few of the tracks on your list & was all straight forward.
Just drop your tyre pressures down to low 20's & you should be fine.
Thanks for responding, I have a like to my route here: https://www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=10...3812edd9734b87954e&layer=GaiaTopoRasterMeters

What are you thoughts on this track? Are there heaps of dunes on the way? And if so, What are they like?
 

Benicio

New Member
I can't see your route but in my opinion I don't reckon there are many difficult dunes in Murray Sunset anywhere.
Tyre pressures are the key, you should sail through any sand in Murray Sunset on 22psi.
But if it's been hot & dry the softer it gets, still a lot easier than the other two parks.
I found Big Desert & Little Desert to be a lot softer where I'd recommend about 18psi.
This is just my experience & opinion.
 

Colly18

Well-Known Member
Thanks for responding, I have a like to my route here: https://www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=10...3812edd9734b87954e&layer=GaiaTopoRasterMeters

What are you thoughts on this track? Are there heaps of dunes on the way? And if so, What are they like?

I suggest you contact the guys at Mildura 4WD Club. They are a good bunch and know the region you are looking at very well. There are a few more difficult dunes there if you know where to find them. I recall airing down to 12 psi at one point when there with a few 4WD Clubs in 2017.
 

John U

Well-Known Member
Watching this thread with interest. Have wanted to visit the area for a while but Covid stopped me. Was hoping I might get a cool spell which would allow me to do it before the end of Jan. I have the rest of the month off. Had sort of given up on the idea thinking it was going to be too hot no matter what.
 

phs

Well-Known Member
Tyre pressures will depend on the day,
Anything from 25-10psi the sand softness can change overnight

That area in my experience is easy - medium

best take recovery gear and learn how to be self sufficient if traveling with only 1 vehicle,
 
I suggest you contact the guys at Mildura 4WD Club. They are a good bunch and know the region you are looking at very well. There are a few more difficult dunes there if you know where to find them. I recall airing down to 12 psi at one point when there with a few 4WD Clubs in 2017.


Thanks for linking them, I'll give them a call in Monday.

And to all the people who have given advice so far: thank you!! I think I'll start at 25psi and adjust from there. Got recovery equipment so I suppose the worst that can happen is that we turn around or just stick to the unsealed roads!!
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
I've driven sand in every state for just on a million years. I just go straight to 15-16 psi so I don't have to bother dropping the pressure again when I find out it's too high. Once in a blue moon I have to drop again down to 10-12psi, and once over near Coral Bay in WA I had to virtually drop the tyres to almost flat to get past one patch. In the Prado, make sure your in high range 4wd so you can maintain some momentum, and turn off what ever they call the stability control in that car.
 
I've driven sand in every state for just on a million years. I just go straight to 15-16 psi so I don't have to bother dropping the pressure again when I find out it's too high. Once in a blue moon I have to drop again down to 10-12psi, and once over near Coral Bay in WA I had to virtually drop the tyres to almost flat to get past one patch. In the Prado, make sure your in high range 4wd so you can maintain some momentum, and turn off what ever they call the stability control in that car.
Yeah sweet, I want this to be a learning experience so I'm hoping it will be just that.

Do you have any track/route recommendations?
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
Sorry mate, it's been at least 5 years since I was down through Big and Little Desert and the Border Track. I don't recall having any trouble with any of it. All the hard sand is over on the Limestone Coast in SA.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
You can drive through the whole of Big Desert and Little desert without issue providing you have some very basic 4wding know how and a decent set of tyres or tires depending where you are from or what spell check or if you even care and use both.
The only spots you may struggle is trying to climb some of the big hills but the tracks do not go up them they only have lookout tracks or play tracks so its not as though you have to drive up them, although for me and many others it is a requirement...
With all the rain this summer the clay based roads in and out will be more of an issue than the sand because they can be like an ice skating rink when wet
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Murray - Sunset is pretty easy, and agree low 20s to just make the trip a little easier on the tracks, softish in a few spots, drive / turn relative to tracks and tyre pressures, you'll be fine.
Border Track between Mallee and Dukes Hwys is a beaut drive (you can also do this from the Murray River down to south of Dukes if you want in parts), done with another 4wd for mutual help if needed is best, tyre pressure if warm and dry might be needed down to 12psi on parts, or take the detour tracks.
Wyperfeld / Big Desert, my favourite places in the west Vic deserts, so many tracks to explore through there, some can be soft, but a little light snatch if ever needed is safe and simple, a good learning curve in company of another vehicle / 4WDr.
Very easy to do some nice loop drives through the regions mentioned.
 

jacnden

Well-Known Member
it’s been a few years since I did this trip (2016)but here’s a trip report of big desert. It was a relatively easy trip and as said before , you don’t have to play in the dunes
 

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
The lowest tyre pressure I have run in Big Desert was 12 PSI when playing on a dune. I haven't had to go lower than 18 PSI (hot pressure) on the tracks in Big Desert. As a guide, when your engine stars to labour and you begin to lose momentum. Stop and drop 2 PSI out of your tyres. You will burn less fuel and do less damage to the tracks. Keeps everyone happy.
 
Murray - Sunset is pretty easy, and agree low 20s to just make the trip a little easier on the tracks, softish in a few spots, drive / turn relative to tracks and tyre pressures, you'll be fine.
Border Track between Mallee and Dukes Hwys is a beaut drive (you can also do this from the Murray River down to south of Dukes if you want in parts), done with another 4wd for mutual help if needed is best, tyre pressure if warm and dry might be needed down to 12psi on parts, or take the detour tracks.
Wyperfeld / Big Desert, my favourite places in the west Vic deserts, so many tracks to explore through there, some can be soft, but a little light snatch if ever needed is safe and simple, a good learning curve in company of another vehicle / 4WDr.
Very easy to do some nice loop drives through the regions mentioned.


Wyperfeld / Big Desert:

I am doing this trip over Easter weekend, would you have any idea if the tracks I have selected have big dune climbs on them?


Would seriously appreciate your input.
 

John U

Well-Known Member
Wyperfeld / Big Desert:

I am doing this trip over Easter weekend, would you have any idea if the tracks I have selected have big dune climbs on them?


Would seriously appreciate your input.
I can’t see your route. I ended up going up there early jan. one tip I got was to do the Milmed rock track west to east. Reckon this helped a bit. I could feel the soft sand after cresting a few of the bigger dunes on the track. Was good to have gravity on my side in those moments.

A big surprise for me was the border track being closed south of Pinaroo from November to March. Hadn’t heard about this until I saw the big sign of the track. Think the reason was Ngarkat is closed for summer due to fire risk.
 

Baggs71

Active Member
Bell bore road ir the border track...i would head up there and just poke my nose around looking for tracks here there and everywhere and freelance it ...if your unsure
 
I can’t see your route. I ended up going up there early jan. one tip I got was to do the Milmed rock track west to east. Reckon this helped a bit. I could feel the soft sand after cresting a few of the bigger dunes on the track. Was good to have gravity on my side in those moments.

A big surprise for me was the border track being closed south of Pinaroo from November to March. Hadn’t heard about this until I saw the big sign of the track. Think the reason was Ngarkat is closed for summer due to fire risk.


Oh that's annoying, I think if you open it on a desktop browser it will work.

Anyway, tracks I wanna know about are: north-south track, Eagle track, moonah track, and gunners track!!
Ever been on them?

I am super excited haha.
 
Bell bore road ir the border track...i would head up there and just poke my nose around looking for tracks here there and everywhere and freelance it ...if your unsure

Hey mate!! Have you ever used any of the following tracks: north-south track, Eagle track, moonah track, and gunners track?

These are the ones on my Wyperfeld route.
 
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